There was a magical time when I was in Abbey Road Studios. I can’t remember which Ringo album we were working on. I think it was his Christmas album. I remember bagpipers coming in to play on a song. Many of them were drunk, I recall. On top of that, the song we cut was not it in the same key that the bagpipes were. We had to slow the track down until the keys matched up. Very Strawberry Fields of us.
In the above picture…you will notice I have a screw hanging from my ear. This is the story of that screw.
They were doing renovations on Abbey Road the day we were there. Walls opened, floors torn up. They were probably running new electrical lines. That is the old electrician in me’s best guess. I think Mark and I had a look pass between us as we saw the opportunity. When the session was over I went out and unscrewed a screw from an old socket in the wall. This screw was there when the Beatles made all their records. Surely it absorbed some magic in all those years, right?
I slipped it in my pocket. I thought Mark would do the same sort of thing but I underestimated our dear Mr. Hudson.
He pulled up a board. An entire board. It was about three feet long, though it might have grown in my imagination as years have rock and rolled by. We were both paranoid that what we were doing might not be allowed. “Might not” is the key phrase here.
I put my little screw safely down in my pocket.
Mark shoved the board down his pant leg and walked out of the studio with an impressive limp he did not have when he arrived.
I’m not sure what he did with the board. I took my screw to a jeweler who made an earring out of it so it could hang next to my ear and whisper to me “They wouldn’t have done it that way.”
I stopped wearing it about five years ago. I didn’t know how long solder joints last but I started to worry that I would come home one day screwless. Come to think of it, that was how I spent a great deal of my time during those years but I digress.